This article has been Fact-Checked by Kendall Kennedy MS, RD, RYT
Eating Avocado is regularly recommended for weight loss. Is this justified or is avocado just one of those overhyped foods?
You can eat avocados in many ways. On their own, on a toast, baked with an egg and even as an avocado chocolate mousse.
While avocados are technically a fruit, they have nutrient properties similar to vegetables. On the other hand they do contain a decent amount of calories. Let’s see if they are good for weight loss overall.
Micronutrients in avocados
The first thing to look at is the amount of micronutrients in avocados.
Micronutrients are a group of nutrients your body absolutely needs to survive and thrive. Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals. These are involved in basically every aspect of your health, including weight loss.
100 grams of avocado provides you with approximately (1):
- Vitamin K: 26% of the DV (Daily Value)
- Folate: 20% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 17% of the DV
- Vitamin B5: 14% of the DV
- Potassium: 14% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 13% of the DV
- Vitamin E: 10% of the DV
And a few others in smaller amounts. Avocados are a pretty good source of several vitamins and minerals. A medium avocado of 150 grams can provide you a big part of your daily value for a lot of important nutrients.
Avocados also contain anti-oxidants. These are substances that help your body deal with oxidative stress, damage that occurs from day to day.
Fiber in avocados for weight loss
Another very important factor for weight loss is the amount of fiber in your food.
Avocados contain around 6.7 grams of fiber per 100 grams. This is a great amount compared to most other foods. And this is a good thing for most people.
Fiber has multiple benefits. First of all, it feeds your microbiome, the microbes that live in your intestines. The health of your microbiome influences your body’s health and weight. Feeding it well is usually not a bad idea.
Fiber also helps you feel less hungry without adding a lot of calories to your diet. Hunger and cravings can be a big pitfall for people trying to lose weight, so avoiding this is a big plus.
With the amount of fiber in avocados you can drastically reduce the time you spend craving for food and improve your gut health.
Do avocados help you lose belly fat?
Since losing belly fat is about total energy intake and expenditure, you still need a final piece of the puzzle. The amount of calories in avocados.
160 calories per 100 gram. 30.6 of these calories come from the carbohydrates (8.5 g per 100 grams of which 6.7 g fiber). One medium avocado which is about 150 grams comes down to 240 calories.
Because the amount of net carbohydrates in this food is so low, 1.8 g, avocados are good for a low carb diet and even ketogenic diet. Avocados even contain a tiny amount of 2 g of protein per 100 grams.
A lot of the calories in avocados come from healthy fats. However, they still count toward calorie deficits or surpluses. 160 calories per 100 grams is medium to high compared to most other whole foods. On the other hand avocados are pretty high in micronutrients and fiber.
If you can fit them in your daily calorie count avocados certainly deserve a spot in your weight loss diet. They are a better option than most processed foods but there are better whole foods for weight loss.
Avocado fat content
Not all calorie sources have the same effect on your body and health. About 75% of the calories in avocado come from fat. This fat is about 71% monosaturated fatty acids, 13% polyunsaturated fatty acids and 16% saturated fatty acids (2).
How much avocado should you eat a day to lose weight?
One medium avocado is about 150 grams, this amounts to about 240 calories.
Nutrition is always a bit of a puzzle in terms of what the perfect diet looks like. Whether it’s good fr your diet depends on your individual situation. With avocados you need to keep an eye on your daily calorie count if you include them.
Most people will benefit from one avocado a day. More can be good too if it fits within your diet in terms of calories and micronutrients.
This might add a decent amount of calories to your diet but avocados contain a nice amount of nutrients. Getting enough of all the different micronutrients is important for your health.
Different ways to eat avocado
While a regular avocado can be great for weight loss, there are also other ways you can it this food that are not always that healthy. Certainly if you’re looking to lose weight you want to make sure that you stick to the good preparation methods.
If you decide to have an avocado smoothie to lose weight try to avoid ingredients that are not great for weight loss. In general you want to stick to vegetables. Fruits like for example bananas do contain a relatively high amount of calories for a whole food
You also want to avoid any sweeteners like honey and artificial sweeteners. These will greatly slow down your weight loss. Store-bought smoothies often contain exactly these things so make sure you read the nutrition label.
It might sound like a silly thing to talk about but this is one of the most popular ways to eat avocado. So is avocado toast good for weight loss? The analysis is rather straightforward. It mainly depends on the toast you are using.
Often the toast is the most unhealthy part of this “dish”. It’s generally higher the part with more calories and less helpful nutrients (5). This means that if you’re looking to lose weight you would rather skip out on the toast.
It can be helpful to really enjoy what you’re eating. If the toast really makes the avocado that much better you can eat it this way anyway.
With a little effort you can also transform your avocados into fries. You basically cut them up, dip them in a beaten egg and coat them in breadcrumbs. Then you bake them in the oven on an oil-coated sheet pan.
Eggs are great for weight loss. The tiny amount of breadcrumbs won’t be that bad but it won’t help either. Baking them in the oven can remove some of the water content in avocados. Consuming water is great for weight loss so again not something you want. It also makes it easier to overeat on avocados.
All in all, avocado fries won’t be that much unhealthier. They do require extra effort. If you enjoy cooking new dishes and you need a change up in the way you eat avocados, you can have avocado fries every once in a while. If not it’s better to stick to just eating them raw which is healthier and requires less effort.
Avocado oil is made by pressing the flesh from avocado. Like with olive oil you have different degrees of processing, extra virgin being the least processed version (6).
Most people don’t consume oils with a spoon so the question becomes more how avocado oil compares to other oils. For example compared to something like olive oil.
Olive oil and avocado oil have very similar nutrient contents (7, 8). The main difference between the two is that olive oil contains slightly more vitamin E than avocado oil. Their smoke point is also different.
The smoke point is at which temperature oil starts to degrade and release harmful substances (9). The smoke point of olive oil is about 375°F (191°C) and the smoke point of avocado oil is about 482°F (250°C) (10, 11). This means avocado oil would be the better cooking oil.
In general, avocado oil is one of the healthier cooking oils available. Do keep in mind that avocado oil contains up to 800 calories per 100 grams.
Avocado chocolate mousse
There are all kinds of “avocado chocolate” recipes around. Cake and mousse are the most common ones. Even though they can be “keto”, “low sugar” or “low carb” they are often really bad if you’re looking to lose weight.
These recipes almost always combine a lot of chocolate with avocado. If you use 70%+ cacao chocolate you do avoid some sugar but you also add a ton of calories to the mix. Like with all foods you can have a little sometimes but in general you should avoid these kinds of foods if you’re looking to lose weight.
The best way to eat avocado to lose weight
Like with most foods the best way to eat avocado if you want to lose weight is as unprocessed as possible. Cut one in half and add some salt and pepper if you want. You can also just put the avocado in a healthy salad or smoothie.
An advantage of keeping it simple like this is that you don’t have to put in a lot of effort to prepare your food. Complexity can be the enemy of execution.
You can also bake the avocado alone or with an egg and some salt and pepper. This way of preparing will be slightly worse for weight loss but still acceptable.
How to pick the right avocado
One of the challenges of avocados is buying ones that are not too ripe and knowing when you can eat them. In general, the greener they are the less ripe.
The best way to know if they are right is by gently squeezing one in your palm. If it is still very firm it will have to ripe some more. If you can squeeze it too much it might be too ripe. Practice makes perfect, the more you eat avocados the better you will get at buying and eating them at just the right moment.
You can speed up the ripening process by putting an avocado in a paper bag together with a banana.
How do avocados help you lose weight?
Avocados can offer a few benefits for weight loss. They contain a lot of important vitamins and minerals. Avocados also provide you with healthy calories. And they can help you feel fuller for longer without adding a lot of calories.
While avocados are not that high in calories compared to most processed foods and a few whole foods, they do still contain a medium amount compared to other whole foods. If you’re struggling with overeating calories you might want to stick to lower calorie food sources like vegetables and fruit.
Avocados can be helpful for weight loss and health if you keep an eye on your daily calorie count.